A SOUTHAMPTON mum has criticised council recycling measures as “draconian” after a bin crew refused to collect her recycling due to the presence of a plastic butter tub.

Even after Diane Healey removed the offending item, which is not allowed in the bins, the crew said they were not allowed to take her recycling, even though her next collection day was not for two weeks.

The council say the incident was down to a “misunderstanding” and has urged residents to keep up to date with what they can and cannot recycle.

Forty-one-year-old mum-of-one Mrs Healey was at home in Howards Grove in Shirley last Tuesday when her blue-lidded recycling bin was being collected. She saw a note had been posted through her front door by the bin collection crew, which said they could not collect her bin as it had the wrong items in it.

The 41-year-old went outside to talk to the crew, and was told that the butter tub was an item that was not allowed in recycling bin.

She said: “I said I would take it out so they could collect my bin, but the man I was talking to said he couldn’t do that.

“When I asked him why he said he was just doing his job and he wasn’t allowed to take it. I was very annoyed.

“My next collection date wasn’t for two weeks – I took it to the tip in the end but it could have just been sat there for two weeks.”

Mrs Healey, an administrator at the magistrates’ court, added: “It was draconian, mad and too strict.”

Freemantle ward councillor Jeremy Moulton said: “This clearly a case of the council being over-zealous and targeting a decent, law-abiding resident, rather than doing what they should be doing which is going after those who allow their bins to overflow in the street.

“The council recently scrapped its leaflet that told residents what should go in which bin and on what days they should be collected. It would help if that was reinstated.

“I am getting lots of complaints about missed bin collections in Shirley and Freemantle and the council should be making this their primary focus.”

A council spokesman said the authority had offered to collect her bin once it found out about the incident, adding: “We are sorry to Mrs Healey for any inconvenience. This was a misunderstanding by one of our crews.

“A number of recycling bins in this part of the city this week were reported as contaminated with black plastic sacks, glass, food waste and carpet underlay which we cannot recycle, but this was not the case here.” A full list of what can be put in recycling bins can be found at southampton.gov.uk/s- environment/householdwaste/what_can_go_in_my_recycling_bin.aspx